MLS: D.C. United Acquires Brian Bates from Dallas

D.C. United has acquired former University of Virginia star Brian Bates from the Dallas Burn in exchange for conditional draft picks. In exchange for Bates, Dallas will receive up to two of United's picks in the upcoming college and supplemental drafts. D.C. currently holds four picks in the college draft, two in the second round (the 17th and 21st overall selections) and one in the third (the 35th overall pick), in addition to the first pick of the 1999 draft. If United still holds the 21st selection on draft day, Dallas will receive that pick. If United no longer holds that pick, then Dallas will receive D.C.'s third-round pick in the college draft and its second-round pick in the supplemental draft (the 23rd overall selection). Bates, 26, made four appearances for Dallas last season after being acquired in mid-season from the Chicago Fire. He is capable of playing a variety of positions in defense and midfield. "We're extremely satisfied that we were able to pull this deal off," said D.C. coach Thomas Rongen. "Brian gives us a tremendous amount of flexibility. Obviously he gives us depth on the right side and he also has the capability to play centrally. He's a good athlete with good feet for a big man, so we're extremely happy to have him with D.C. United." Bates began his professional career in 1994 with the APSL's Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, where he was coached by Rongen. The following year he joined the Richmond Kickers, helping the team to both the USISL and U.S. Open Cup titles. He was taken by Colorado in the 1996 supplemental draft, but was plagued by injuries during his two years with the Rapids. Chicago selected him in the 1998 expansion draft, and he was sent to Dallas in a July 14 trade for Tom Soehn. "We've actually been trying to get Brian Bates to D.C. since 1996," said United GM Kevin Payne. "He's a very versatile player, and we're especially pleased to welcome him home as a native of Woodbridge, Va."
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